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Completely stressed out--applying to colleges-help


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1 hour ago, FuzzyCatz said:

Looking closer at your list, I'm not sure any of those up on your list or Denison or DePauw would be categorized safeties especially with high financial need.  Some people do win that lottery but I really don't think these schools are as need blind as they like to advertise.   I'd be pushing pretty hard for an instate TRUE 4 year safety.  Maybe that just requires the personal essay if that is an option.  Maybe it will be able to convince him to just push it through on the common app if he doesn't need to do additional writing.  

Plenty of kids don't get to leave their state or region for college and get opportunities to move later.  My kid applied all over and ended up in a neighboring state.  My kid also got rejected from schools where he was well above the 75%.  Given the schools, I think it was fairly obvious he was applying hoping for big merit and wouldn't attend without.  I'd also carefully consider adding some money mentally for travel for any of the further flung options.  I know people who've had to finance extra travel their first year for various reasons.  Anyway - I would keep reminding him of the realities of it.  It sounds both like him and ex need a reality check and what you're willing and not willing to do.    

Florida has great public options and bright futures correct?  Plus a number of great metro areas.  I'd insist on having one of these schools on the list so you'd at least have that pricing in hand when comparing any offers he gets.  

ETA - part of the thing with keeping options open and comparing offers is you just don't know what is what until you see offers.  My kid got Oberlin's largest merit package.  It was still twice as expensive as the school he is attending.  

Well we missed the UF deadline and that's not a safety and he is refusing to consider FSU so. It's hopeless. 

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It may be a growing through natural consequences opportunity. He may very well have refused himself into no options.

It is what it is at this point. There's nada you can do, so there's no reason to stress about it. The lab sciences, the test scores, the AP's... it's done. He's the kid that he is and he'll find a pla

I wouldn’t worry at all about only two APs, as it sounds like he has other outside classes and advances AOPS courses. As I’m sure you’ve read before on this board, many homeschoolers get into excellen

So nobody thinks Knox, Goucher and Guilford are safeties??? I think i don't know what the definition of a safety is when it's holistic admissions. 

He has agreed to apply to Ursinus and Allegheny. 

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14 minutes ago, Halcyon said:

Well we missed the UF deadline and that's not a safety and he is refusing to consider FSU so. It's hopeless. 

Ugh - I'd be losing patience for sure.  I am afraid there may be some sadness and regret in your home this spring.  If you live in a Florida metro, admissions is going to be even more competitive because they're getting lots of apps from your metro. I'd just be very clear about financial restraints up front.  I'd try to order his applications from least reachy to most reachy to get done since it's coming down to the wire for many deadlines. 

Is his dad a NY resident since he has an apartment there?  Could he live there and go to a CC for a year and get that out of his system?

I just wanted to say since we live very local to Macalester.  Mac is about 5 miles from MSP international airport and it's in the middle of Saint Paul.  It is MUCH easier in terms of transportation than a school like Cornell College or Beloit (or many other midwestern LACs or even Bard).  I don't think you need any more reachy options on your list , I just thought I'd mention that.  I've seen people refer to Mac like it's in the middle of no where and it's in the middle of an urban neighborhood with transit and uber, etc.

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3 hours ago, Halcyon said:

... Like i said, we do have some money saved up in a 529-both my parents contributed when he was very little and that's built up--so there's a chance with my low income, a non-css or non-css-non-custodial-parent school would give us enough. Bard EFC was affordable, as was Knox and Goucher. 


You might find this FinAid website article on divorced parents and college financial aid to be helpful. This paragraph stuck out to me, in light of your situation:

Obligation to Help Pay for College
Is the non-custodial parent required to help pay for college?

The Federal government does not consider the income and assets of the non-custodial parent in determining a student's financial need. However, it does consider child support received by the custodial parent. Many private colleges do consider the non-custodial parent as a potential source of support, and require a supplemental financial aid form from the non-custodial parent. This affects the awarding of the school's own aid, but not Federal and state aid.
 

3 hours ago, Halcyon said:

I am going to put Americorps as an option on the back burner if he doesnt get into a school he wants to attend at a good price. He would resist but I think he would ultimately enjoy it. And i think its exactly something like that that he needs. 


If you have any questions about AmeriCorps, let me know -- in 2016, DS#2 did a 6-month commitment, followed by a 3-month commitment with one of the many AmeriCorps partner programs. (DS#2 served worked with ACE (American Conservation Experience), which is a trails restoration and conservation organization.) There are definitely pros and cons to AmeriCorps.

financial aspect of AmeriCorps
It is volunteer work, but with a stipend to pay for room and board. A college tuition credit is earned on top of that. The credit amount is definitely smaller than what a student could earn working at an entry-level job for 30-40 hours/week while living at home to save for college. Also, you have 7 years to use the tuition credit award from the time it is earned. The credit can only be applied directly toward tuition & fees (not other college expenses). It can also be applied towards a qualified college student loan. The amount of the award is fully taxable the year that the student uses it. (see here for more info)

The dollar amount of the tuition credit earned is equal to the maximum amount of the Pell Grant, so it changes from year to year. For example, for 9 months of work, DS#2 earned a tuition credit that was around $4200. That is much less than he would have earned by working 30-40 hours/week at  just an entry-level job and living at home, so I personally suggest considering that tuition credit a bonus perk to other major reasons for doing AmeriCorps.

DS#2's partner program of ACE encouraged all of the AmeriCorps volunteers to also sign up for Food Stamps to help stretch their stipend monies. Because the ACE program provides housing for the volunteers, and because DS#2 is a frugal kind of guy, having the Food Stamps allowed him to actually bank some of the money from the bi-weekly stipend, like it was a paycheck.

DS#2 had no interest in college, and he went into his AmeriCorps commitment being fine with the idea that he would probably never use the tuition credit. He was going for the training and experience -- and it did exactly that -- it ended up pointing him toward/preparing him for the job he is currently loving (seasonal wildland firefighter). It was an exciting bonus that this past spring, he decided that getting EMT-certified would help him advance more easily, and when he took an intensive 4-week/full-time EMT program, the tuition cost for his EMT program was almost exactly the amount of his AmeriCorps tuition credit -- so he was able to completely use all of his credit within the 7-year limit! 😀

What's it like?
I can only speak for DS#2's experience (he was then 22yo) with the partner program of ACE. The program directors do not hold your hand; they provide any training you need, but they expect you to be responsible -- show up on time, do the work, have a good attitude, don't do crazy/stupid stuff on your time off. For some of the younger volunteers (ages 18-19), this may be their first time away from home, and they struggle with meeting the maturity challenge required to do a months-long volunteer job far from home. (Sort of like how a lot of college freshmen go nuts that first year.)

The pros included that he got free training and education in the first 2 weeks, so he got some certifications for free that he would have had to pay for otherwise. He had some terrific experiences of doing all kinds of different trail and conservation work in 6 different states, and learned a lot. It was also a great experience for him to be responsible for his own meals, shopping, and house cleaning. 😉

Downside: There were only a few rules at the provided housing (no alcohol and no s*x at the housing; no underage drinking or coming back drunk) -- but breaking those rules got you thrown out -- DS#2 saw it happen to one 19yo who under-age drank until black-out drunk and came back to housing to pass out. Even though those were the rules, DS#2 says there was a LOT LOT LOT of drinking and s*x -- people just did it away from housing. I don't know if it was partly because it was the way they were letting off steam after coming back from the 8-day tours of backpack/camping and working 12-hour shifts out on the trail, or if it was a "typical" age 18-24yo thing (which is the age of most AmeriCorps volunteers).

AmeriCorps programs -- info overview and FAQ pages
I still find it a bit confusing because there seems to be a lot of overlap, but there are 3 large program areas under the AmeriCorps umbrella:

- NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) -- either FEMA-based emergency/disaster response projects; or, regular team-based community service projects
- Vista -- community-based projects to alleviate poverty problems
- State/National programs -- plug in with choice of partner programs that address: disaster services; economic opportunity; education; environmental stewardship (DS#2's ACE program was one of these); healthy futures; veterans and military families

Check out this search engine page to get a feel for the kinds of "jobs" available through the 3 AmeriCorps programs.

Here's a list of the service areas (types of job areas) within AmeriCorps:
- Community & Economic Development
- Community Outreach
- Children/Youth
- Disaster Relief
- Education
- Entrepreneur/Business
- Elder Care
- Ex-Offender Reentry
- Environment
- Health
- Hunger
- Homelessness
- Housing
- Homeland Security
- Neighborhood Revitalization
- Public Safety
- Technology
- Tribal
- Veterans

 

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15 minutes ago, Halcyon said:

So nobody thinks Knox, Goucher and Guilford are safeties??? I think i don't know what the definition of a safety is when it's holistic admissions. 

He has agreed to apply to Ursinus and Allegheny. 

I think because they use holisitic admissions and because I am assuming you need significant FA, they aren't a safety unless they have a very high admissions rate.  These LAC's with 50-60% admission rates regularly bounce kids higher than their 75% from admissions (and lower) for various reasons.  I'd look at the acceptance rates, the average incomes of families of those schools, and try to piece it out/prioritize that way.  

If he is really fond of LACs, I'd look at those that give merit where is is well above the 75% stat wise and the EFC looks good for you and have an acceptance rate way up there.  Like maybe ursinus is closest?  Their acceptance rate is about 80% and he is above the 75%?  I still wouldn't call that a true safety, but it is safer than many other options and I would prioritize an app like that over doing so many high reaches.  

 

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If your in FL does he qualify for bright futures scholarship? New College of Florida is a state LAC. Their application ends January 6th. It's small but seems accommodating. It's 45 min to st. Petersburg and an hour  to Tampa.

 

My son really wants OOS too but financially with BF it doesn't make sense. I had to explain 2 more years wont kill him. I would add a science this semester so you have 3 sciences with labs. 

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2 hours ago, Halcyon said:

So nobody thinks Knox, Goucher and Guilford are safeties??? I think i don't know what the definition of a safety is when it's holistic admissions. 

He has agreed to apply to Ursinus and Allegheny. 

Okay- my gut reaction to this is that Goucher isn't a safety with that ACT score. Knox looks easier and Guilford does look pretty safe. 

Is he going to be happy to attend Knox or Guilford or are these schools you are trying to talk him into? I don't think that Ursinus or Allegheny are safe. I think they are a similar profile to most of the others. 

I'm not clear if he is applying to Kenyon but my ds applied there (4 years ago) with a 32 ACT and nice extracurriculars and got waitlisted.

Another couple thoughts when you are looking at safety schools: The first is that it seems these schools are getting more competitive every year so a school with a 60% admission rate in 2018 may have a lower admission rate in 2020. Another thought is that many of these schools fill much of their class through early admission/early action. So, that means a school with a 60% overall admission rate is actually admitting a lower rate in the regular admission round. That might not work out well for your situation.

I'm sorry you are dealing with this and I am sure you are stressed and I realize you aren't getting alot of encouragement here that everything will be okay. I think we have alot of parents here with plenty of experience and we tend to be pretty blunt about admissions and finances here in an attempt to help before it is too late. 

But in the end he is going to have to own this if it doesn't work out. You can't make him understand if he doesn't. And time is short. But if he has to learn the hard way he will regroup and choose another path and it will work out in the end. There is just a limit to what you can "make" a young adult do. 

(But I am over here all shaking my fist and using bad words at your ex husband ...grr)

 

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4 hours ago, Halcyon said:

So nobody thinks Knox, Goucher and Guilford are safeties??? I think i don't know what the definition of a safety is when it's holistic admissions. 

He has agreed to apply to Ursinus and Allegheny. 

 

I think both of those are safeties, but they're really great safeties (and if you read my really long thread which I don't recommend doing since you are busy, one of the best takeaway is that a safety should be a school you'd like to go to, and one that is great for you, even if it's not the dream school.  If he looked at Ursinus and Allegheny and thought he would be happy at both of them, then they are both safeties, since he also has a significantly higher ACT than the top 75% ....Allegheny gives fantastic merit aid.

One thing I wanted to ask you was whether Allegheny had close proximity to an airport.  ...that should go for all of the schools which you choose since during the winter it can get very complicated and there can be a lot of delays.  Being close to a major airport would be best, but a small airport is ok too as longa s your son is responsible enough to pack plenty of food and water, and as long as he is ok with overnight stay in an airport or airtport putting him up in a hotel if he can't make his connection (all of this just happened to my kid coming from PSU last week to CA. The small airports often have smaller planes that can't handle taking off in as extreme weather causing more delays. It's ok as long as your kid is ok with it 🙂

I don't know why someone said Goucher isn't a safety. Their average SAT is 1200 and your son's ACT composite comparison is 1400.  To me that's definitely a safety since he has a few AP, some CC, some dual enrollment and some leadership.  The only major factor that would change that is a low acceptance rate but Goucher's is in the 70% range, so to me that is a safety.  ? 

 

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7 minutes ago, Calming Tea said:

 

 

I don't know why someone said Goucher isn't a safety. Their average SAT is 1200 and your son's ACT composite comparison is 1400.  To me that's definitely a safety since he has a few AP, some CC, some dual enrollment and some leadership.  The only major factor that would change that is a low acceptance rate but Goucher's is in the 70% range, so to me that is a safety.  ? 

 

Oh that was me...I'm happy to stand corrected. I must have been looking at a different stat for acceptance rate and I just did a glance at ACT scores. I think I read the 75th percentile ACT as the average or something. 

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Once you're through the application hell, I'd take a couple hours and go through the CUNY websites to see if any are an option. Off hand I know a couple have strong programs in some fields. They offer 4 year degrees not just community college. Maybe your ds could live in your ex 's apartment and work to establish residency while taking some classes? It isn't what he wants, but having a concrete option in hand will cushion the blow if things don't go his way.

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22 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

Oh that was me...I'm happy to stand corrected. I must have been looking at a different stat for acceptance rate and I just did a glance at ACT scores. I think I read the 75th percentile ACT as the average or something. 

maybe you used the 2400 converter.  THat's what I did at first...

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Just now, Calming Tea said:

maybe you used the 2400 converter.  THat's what I did at first...

No I was looking at ACT scores alone. My kids do ACT so my brain works in ACT numbers. But that is okay. I'm glad to be wrong. Best of luck to OP and her ds.

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My concern is the number of CSS schools on the list - I think most of them are going to be looking at both parents' income. In a previous post you indicated you wanted schools that would only look at your income. When you ran the NPCs, did you include your ex's income?

Did you see that he posted over on CC? The input he'll receive on his list will likely support what you've been telling him, which is a good thing.

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15 minutes ago, whitestavern said:

My concern is the number of CSS schools on the list - I think most of them are going to be looking at both parents' income. In a previous post you indicated you wanted schools that would only look at your income. When you ran the NPCs, did you include your ex's income?

I was wondering about this.  I can't see them getting a waiver since they are not estranged. It seems to me it would have to be schools that don't consider NCP. Out of curiosity I looked at Bard and it looks to me like they do require a NCP CSS tp be completed.

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7 hours ago, Halcyon said:

So nobody thinks Knox, Goucher and Guilford are safeties??? I think i don't know what the definition of a safety is when it's holistic admissions. 

He has agreed to apply to Ursinus and Allegheny. 

Personally, I think Knox is a safety for admission, given his stats, gender, and state of residence and their acceptance rate, male/female ratio, and location. Now whether he gets enough FA to make it affordable is another matter. Their profile is pretty similar to Cornell College and I just can’t seem him not being accepted there. But it has been several years since I was in the thick of admissions and we didn’t qualify for FA, so I may be off base.

I don’t know enough about the other four to have an opinion.

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I don't have a whole lot to add as I am not familiar with NE schools, my boys have both wanted to stay in the Southern portion of the US so far, but my middle son had pretty much the exact ACT scores and grades as your son.  He only applied to in-state schools other than one private college.  No reach schools.  He got in to all of the state schools he applied to and he got into the private college with about $12k scholarship (out of $53k tuition and room/board).  

If you are financially able to afford the out of state tuition or private, it will be fine.  We just couldn't.  Not with 2 kids in college at the same time (oldest is at private but we worked it out to pay equivalent to in-state with his scholarships and loans he is paying back, but he got a much better scholarship.)

 

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I don’t want to hem and haw about admissions and safety schools individually.  But like Knox has a 65% admissions rate and the money has to come though.  And the 75% ACT score is 31 and OP son is at a 29.  I had a kid with 99% stats across the board to appwho got rejected RD from 2 schools where he was way above the 75% last spring and they had moderate acceptance rates.  Admissions is getting harder especially with Ed/rd at play and if you have not shown interest in some of these LACs that can work against you too.  
 

Anyway, I wouldn’t have a lot of patience with someone who snubbed Florida public schools so I wouldn’t be adding a bunch of schools that may be worse choices than those closer to home at this point.  Especially if getting through the essays is going to be an issue unless he Is driving the effort He can always reapply next year if nothing works out.  

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13 hours ago, chiguirre said:

Once you're through the application hell, I'd take a couple hours and go through the CUNY websites to see if any are an option. Off hand I know a couple have strong programs in some fields. They offer 4 year degrees not just community college. Maybe your ds could live in your ex 's apartment and work to establish residency while taking some classes? It isn't what he wants, but having a concrete option in hand will cushion the blow if things don't go his way.

Ex has already said he is NOT open to DS staying with him. 😞 

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1 hour ago, FuzzyCatz said:

He can always reapply next year if nothing works out.  

 

Yep. I really dont think he realizes just how hard it is to get into these schools EVEN WITH amazing stats. He's just being stubborn and there's nothing I can do about that. 

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12 hours ago, whitestavern said:

My concern is the number of CSS schools on the list - I think most of them are going to be looking at both parents' income. In a previous post you indicated you wanted schools that would only look at your income. When you ran the NPCs, did you include your ex's income?

Did you see that he posted over on CC? The input he'll receive on his list will likely support what you've been telling him, which is a good thing.

 

Yes, and he's saying that the responses are that he IS a good fit for those schools. I will have to go look at the thread. I think he will be in for a reality check but that's the way it goes. I've done what i can. 

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13 hours ago, whitestavern said:

My concern is the number of CSS schools on the list - I think most of them are going to be looking at both parents' income. In a previous post you indicated you wanted schools that would only look at your income. When you ran the NPCs, did you include your ex's income?

Did you see that he posted over on CC? The input he'll receive on his list will likely support what you've been telling him, which is a good thing.

 

Yes, and he's saying that the responses are that he IS a good fit for those schools. I will have to go look at the thread. I think he will be in for a reality check but that's the way it goes. I've done what i can. 

 

just to clarify-i have run NPC on all the school, but my ex hasn't so for the schools that require NC CSS i know I will be off with my calculations. Goucher and Knox and Eckerd only require FAFSA and Sarah Lawrence only requires my CSS, so there's hope there. As I mentioned, we do have savings in a 529 which can be applied towards his education, and he does plan on working while in school. 

It's complicated with my divorce jsut being finalized, trying to figure out what our EFC is. 

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4 hours ago, Halcyon said:

 

Yes, and he's saying that the responses are that he IS a good fit for those schools. I will have to go look at the thread. I think he will be in for a reality check but that's the way it goes. I've done what i can.

 

Not really, just that a few were matches. Another poster has responded that he needs to add some safeties and also that even if he gets admitted to the reachier schools they may not be affordable. Good luck, the process is frustrating!

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On 12/31/2019 at 10:52 AM, FuzzyCatz said:

 

ETA - part of the thing with keeping options open and comparing offers is you just don't know what is what until you see offers.  My kid got Oberlin's largest merit package.  It was still twice as expensive as the school he is attending.  

I agree with the above.

You also don't know what issues will develop between now and decision time. I had both my older girls apply in-state, knowing it was unlikely they would attend. But you just don't know what might happen financially, or with health or even friendships.

Definitely do consider travel costs. Both of my older daughters developed health issues during college that translated into a fair amount of out of state travel for ME.

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22 hours ago, chiguirre said:

Once you're through the application hell, I'd take a couple hours and go through the CUNY websites to see if any are an option. Off hand I know a couple have strong programs in some fields. They offer 4 year degrees not just community college. Maybe your ds could live in your ex 's apartment and work to establish residency while taking some classes? It isn't what he wants, but having a concrete option in hand will cushion the blow if things don't go his way.

Depending on his major, Baruch I think is a CUNY and I seem to also think that it’s good for applied math/ quant and things like that. But with all the NYc kids I don’t know what their acceptance rate is in terms of test scores.maybe coming from out of state would be a good thing, but I’ve never looked at it. 

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On 1/1/2020 at 2:04 AM, 8FillTheHeart said:

Sewanee might be one to consider. It is definitely beautiful, small, and supportive.  It is close to Chattanooga (not a big city, though), so close access to an airport.  No idea about cost, but they meet need.

https://new.sewanee.edu/

Close access only if you have a car. They do have ZipCar, though.  It is about a 45 minute drive to Chattanooga and about the same to Murfreesboro, so about an hour 15 min to Nashville.  It fell off DD's list because of the fact that she would be stranded, since at 16 you can't rent a ZipCar, and it's a good mile down the mountain to even get to anything off campus like a grocery store or pizza hut. 

It is beautiful, and would be one place DD could do fieldwork with a short walk-and almost all undergrads do some form of research, practicum, internship, etc. 

 

FWIW, Bard heavily recruits and accepts kids for early college with stats lower than your DS, and only 2-3 years of high school. 

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What about the University of Tampa?  He seemingly qualifies for a scholarship there (though I couldn’t tell if there was a deadline that has already passed for it).  It only requires the FAFSA.  Tuition is actually lower than Eckerd to begin with.  It’s slightly larger than he wants.  Idk what area of the state you are in. 

I have no idea what it’s like - just throwing something else out there to consider. 

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15 hours ago, whitestavern said:

Not really, just that a few were matches. Another poster has responded that he needs to add some safeties and also that even if he gets admitted to the reachier schools they may not be affordable. Good luck, the process is frustrating!

I agree. Affordability can be such a huge controlling factor.  I know for our family being admitted without affordability means nothing different than being rejected.  When students are applying to such expensive schools, some aid can still make the costs laughable.

Have you already filed FAFSA? (You have stated that determining your EFC is complicated.  THat makes me wonder if you haven't already filled it out.)  If not, are you including the 529 plan as an investment asset in your EFC calculations?  529s must be included on the FAFSA.  Just wanted to make sure you knew that since you responded (oops quoted it from Lori's post instead of yours)

On 12/31/2019 at 4:01 PM, Lori D. said:

we do have some money saved up in a 529-both my parents contributed when he was very little and that's built up--so there's a chance with my low income, a non-css or non-css-non-custodial-parent school would give us enough.

 

Quote

A 529 college savings plan account that is owned by the student or the student's parent must be reported as an investment asset on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Distributions from such a 529 plan are not reported as income on the FAFSA. As noted in How Do Grandparent-Owned 529 College Savings Plans Affect Financial Aid Eligibility, other 529 plans are not reported as assets on the student's FAFSA, but distributions from such 529 plans are reported as untaxed income to the student on the subsequent year's FAFSA. While the form itself does not have a line specifically for 529 plans, the instructions clearly indicate that 529 plans must be reported in one of the lines for investments:

"Investments also include qualified educational benefits or education savings accounts (e.g., Coverdell savings accounts, 529 college savings plans and the refund value of 529 prepaid tuition plans). For a student who does not report parental information, the accounts owned by the student (and/or the student’s spouse) are reported as student investments in question 41. For a student who must report parental information, the accounts are reported as parental investments in question 89, including all accounts owned by the student and all accounts owned by the parents for any member of the household."
https://www.fastweb.com/financial-aid/articles/confusion-about-reporting-custodial-529-college-savings-plan-accounts-on-the-fafsa

 

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Halcyon, would he consider Canadian schools?

Nearly all of the post-secondary institutions here are public, most have rolling admissions, and nearly all have very simple application processes (it's rare here to be asked for an essay or references or lists of extracurriculars--it's usually a matter of an application form plus a transcript). Application deadlines here tend to be later than there (you'd certainly have at least until February to apply to any of these, and possibly later in some cases). Some of the schools are on the Common App, I think (Bishop's certainly is), so you'd only have to tick off one more box on something you've already done.

The exchange rate is very favourable for Americans right now (our dollar is worth about 75 cents, so most of these schools will come in around 20k-22k US per year total for tuition, fees, and room and board; some of them have good scholarships, and he would likely qualify for some--note, though, that a good scholarship in Canadian terms tends to be a few thousand dollars a year). Some US aid (Stafford loans, I know, but I'm not sure what else) is portable to Canadian schools.

Small schools (about 2500-4000), near(ish) to big cities in the northeast in Canada:

1. Bishop's University, in a suburb of Sherbrooke, QC (pop. 170,000): https://www.ubishops.ca/future-current-students/students-from-the-usa/ They have rolling admissions, lots of Americans, and the application deadline is March 1 (for scholarship consideration). There is an airport there, though there would be better flights into Montreal (about an hour and a half drive from Sherbrooke).

2. Mount Saint Vincent University, in Halifax (pop. 400,000): https://www.msvu.ca/en/home/default.aspx There's a major airport in Halifax.

3. Acadia University, Wolfville, NS (small town, but an hour from Halifax, and there are shuttles): https://www2.acadiau.ca/home.html 

4. Mount Allison University, Sackville, NB (small town, but half an hour from Moncton, pop. 85,000): https://www.mta.ca/Prospective/Default.aspx There's a good airport in Moncton; from the US, you'd probably fly to Halifax or Montreal and then take a short flight to Moncton. There is a shuttle from Moncton to Mt. Allison.

There's also St. FX (https://www.stfx.ca/), but it may be too far from a major centre to be convenient for you (it's in Antigonish, NS, which is very small, and is a two-hour drive from Halifax). A little bigger than the others (about 6400 students), but right in the south end of Halifax is Saint Mary's  ( https://smu.ca/ ).

These are all good schools; all are public. 

I hope your new year becomes much less stressful very soon! We're all rooting for you!

Edited by Emerald Stoker
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One more thought...not in the northeast, though: Glendon College: https://www.glendon.yorku.ca/ . It's about 3000 students, and is a part of York University (on a separate campus, but one can take York courses as a Glendon student) in Toronto (easy flights for you). It's a good deal more expensive than the others I listed (tuition, fees, room and board will be around 30-32K), but possibly the ease of transportation would result in some savings on the travel front.

It seems to me that he is interested in languages and international studies, is that right? Glendon would be a good place to pursue those kinds of interests. 

Home-school requirements: https://www.glendon.yorku.ca/futurestudents/apply/admission-requirements/home-school/

US applicants page: https://www.glendon.yorku.ca/futurestudents/apply/international-students/us-applicants/

Hope that helps!

 

ETA: Just had another look at his want list: as far as I can tell, there are bowling alleys in all of the towns! Bishop's and Acadia probably have the most old-school architecture of the kind I think he's looking for. 😊

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11 hours ago, Hoggirl said:

What about the University of Tampa?  He seemingly qualifies for a scholarship there (though I couldn’t tell if there was a deadline that has already passed for it).  It only requires the FAFSA.  Tuition is actually lower than Eckerd to begin with.  It’s slightly larger than he wants.  Idk what area of the state you are in. 

I have no idea what it’s like - just throwing something else out there to consider. 

The only Florida school he is willing to apply to is Eckerd at this point. He has visited New College, and it's a state school and a match, but he declared this morning "Mom, I'm not applying because if it was the ONLY school I got into, I'd take a gap year and reapply." Okay, then. 

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1 hour ago, Emerald Stoker said:

Halcyon, would he consider Canadian schools?

Nearly all of the post-secondary institutions here are public, most have rolling admissions, and nearly all have very simple application processes (it's rare here to be asked for an essay or references or lists of extracurriculars--it's usually a matter of an application form plus a transcript). Application deadlines here tend to be later than there (you'd certainly have at least until February to apply to any of these, and possibly later in some cases). Some of the schools are on the Common App, I think (Bishop's certainly is), so you'd only have to tick off one more box on something you've already done.

The exchange rate is very favourable for Americans right now (our dollar is worth about 75 cents, so most of these schools will come in around 20k-22k US per year total for tuition, fees, and room and board; some of them have good scholarships, and he would likely qualify for some--note, though, that a good scholarship in Canadian terms tends to be a few thousand dollars a year). Some US aid (Stafford loans, I know, but I'm not sure what else) is portable to Canadian schools.

Small schools (about 2500-4000), near(ish) to big cities in the northeast in Canada:

1. Bishop's University, in a suburb of Sherbrooke, QC (pop. 170,000): https://www.ubishops.ca/future-current-students/students-from-the-usa/ They have rolling admissions, lots of Americans, and the application deadline is March 1 (for scholarship consideration). There is an airport there, though there would be better flights into Montreal (about an hour and a half drive from Sherbrooke).

2. Mount Saint Vincent University, in Halifax (pop. 400,000): https://www.msvu.ca/en/home/default.aspx There's a major airport in Halifax.

3. Acadia University, Wolfville, NS (small town, but an hour from Halifax, and there are shuttles): https://www2.acadiau.ca/home.html 

4. Mount Allison University, Sackville, NB (small town, but half an hour from Moncton, pop. 85,000): https://www.mta.ca/Prospective/Default.aspx There's a good airport in Moncton; from the US, you'd probably fly to Halifax or Montreal and then take a short flight to Moncton. There is a shuttle from Moncton to Mt. Allison.

There's also St. FX (https://www.stfx.ca/), but it may be too far from a major centre to be convenient for you (it's in Antigonish, NS, which is very small, and is a two-hour drive from Halifax). A little bigger than the others (about 6400 students), but right in the south end of Halifax is Saint Mary's  ( https://smu.ca/ ).

These are all good schools; all are public. 

I hope your new year becomes much less stressful very soon! We're all rooting for you!

 

At some point we considered Canadian schools but thought they would be too pricey. Can one use 529 funds for a Canadian school? Bishop's might be a possibilitiy. 

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3 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I agree. Affordability can be such a huge controlling factor.  I know for our family being admitted without affordability means nothing different than being rejected.  When students are applying to such expensive schools, some aid can still make the costs laughable.

Have you already filed FAFSA? (You have stated that determining your EFC is complicated.  THat makes me wonder if you haven't already filled it out.)  If not, are you including the 529 plan as an investment asset in your EFC calculations?  529s must be included on the FAFSA.  Just wanted to make sure you knew that since you responded (oops quoted it from Lori's post instead of yours)

 

yes i am including the 529. My ex did the fafsa-with my input--and i havent seen the results. Does it give you EFC right then and there? He never looped me in so I am not clear.

Another question, since ex isnt' responding to me--do i need to "submit" the fafsa to each school like i do the CSS? I am trying to get the login infor for fafsa so i can do this myself.

 

OKay jut googled and it seems i need to add colleges to the FAFSA. Ex is travelling and unreachable. Sigh. "It will all work out, it will all work out, it will all work out."

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1 hour ago, Halcyon said:

 

At some point we considered Canadian schools but thought they would be too pricey. Can one use 529 funds for a Canadian school? Bishop's might be a possibilitiy. 


An international school has to qualify for Title IV federal aid in order to use 529 funds. 

Here is the link to the spreadsheet of qualifying schools. 
https://ifap.ed.gov/ifap/fedSchoolCodeList.jsp

There are 70 Canadian schools on the list, including Bishop’s. 

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3 minutes ago, Lawyer&Mom said:


An international school has to qualify for Title IV federal aid in order to use 529 funds. 

Here is the link to the spreadsheet of qualifying schools. 
https://ifap.ed.gov/ifap/fedSchoolCodeList.jsp

There are 70 Canadian schools on the list, including Bishop’s. 

you all are a wealth of information. thank you!

My son says (thank god) that his father submitted the FAFSA to swarthmore. I mean, he doesn't have a good chance but id still hate to miss a deadline. I have asked his dad to send me all the information for logging in etc. I think that having one parent plus the child in charge will be easier and less stressful. 

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1 hour ago, Halcyon said:

The only Florida school he is willing to apply to is Eckerd at this point. He has visited New College, and it's a state school and a match, but he declared this morning "Mom, I'm not applying because if it was the ONLY school I got into, I'd take a gap year and reapply." Okay, then. 

 

Does he understand that gaining acceptance to an unaffordable school is going to force him into a gap year?  Was the ED school (was it Vassar??) going to be affordable if he got in?  I am confused on whether Dad is willing to contribute at all or only for certain schools or ????

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12 minutes ago, Halcyon said:

you all are a wealth of information. thank you!

My son says (thank god) that his father submitted the FAFSA to swarthmore. I mean, he doesn't have a good chance but id still hate to miss a deadline. I have asked his dad to send me all the information for logging in etc. I think that having one parent plus the child in charge will be easier and less stressful. 

Swarthmore requires the CSS Profile as well.

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I suspect the most likely outcome here is going to be that your ds gets in someplace (though possibly not a top choice) but that the numbers don't work out as favorably as you hope financially. So I would be preparing to handle that conversation and know what the cut off is going to be financially, how much in loans you are willing to take on, how much can ds work to contribute, etc etc. 

(I know I have a range in my mind of what is "affordable" to us but I also know if backed in a corner of the only option available being more than that I would be very tempted to take on more than I initially planned on.)

I feel for you, OP.  This too will pass and you will have some answers in a few months. Hang in there.

 

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FWIW, the govt expects students to be responsible for the FAFSA (ridiculous I know since they need their parents' tax returns).  I am only mentioning it bc your ds should insist to have access to the FAFSA if his dad isn't easily cooperating with getting things done quickly.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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BTW, another thing......since you are divorced, shouldn't you have separated your info out of the 2017 taxes (or is 2018 for incoming freshman???  I have lost track b/c we don't take out loans) and have filed the FAFSA manually with your info?  I'm wondering why your dh is involved in the FAFSA for you at all. (Or maybe I completely misunderstand how FAFSA is done for divorced couples, but that is what I thought I remembered reading at some pt int time.)

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If the FAFSA was already filed, you're DS should have received an email that is was successfully processed along with information on how to access his SAR. The EFC would be there, although it's meaningless for CSS schools. 

 

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3 hours ago, Halcyon said:

yes i am including the 529. My ex did the fafsa-with my input--and i havent seen the results. Does it give you EFC right then and there? He never looped me in so I am not clear.

 

Yes, it gives you the EFC on completion. I am confused at this point...your ex did the FAFSA with your info, excluding his info? Did he do it in your name? I would be worried about liability if he didn't get the information correctly and it was submitted in my name. I'd want access to it for sure.

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3 hours ago, teachermom2834 said:

I suspect the most likely outcome here is going to be that your ds gets in someplace (though possibly not a top choice) but that the numbers don't work out as favorably as you hope financially. So I would be preparing to handle that conversation and know what the cut off is going to be financially, how much in loans you are willing to take on, how much can ds work to contribute, etc etc. 

(I know I have a range in my mind of what is "affordable" to us but I also know if backed in a corner of the only option available being more than that I would be very tempted to take on more than I initially planned on.)

I feel for you, OP.  This too will pass and you will have some answers in a few months. Hang in there.

 

I totally agree with this. This is what I was trying to get at when talking about safety schools.  A safety school should be an 80-90%+ sure thing BOTH for admissions and for financials.  A school where you're in the average range for stats and admissions rates are in the 40-70% range and you may need to be crossing fingers for a little extra merit and some FA luck for it to work out would really be more like a "match".  If competitive merit is involved, odds are lower.  I definitely think your son is a great student many schools would love to have and he definitely   will get into schools.  The money piece really makes odds go down of it working out.  And at our house, a high ball offer of admissions was basically the same as a rejection.  MY son had several.  I want to reprimand your ex harshly on behalf for his part.  So ridiculous.  

I'd just brace yourself for a hard conversation and if you cannot take out loans or cosign (which is generally a bad idea anyway) that is fine and just good to decide up front.  If you are re-establishing yourself, starting a business, and have another teen coming up behind, it's definitely better to be financially conservative side and let him take the gap year.  You do have really fantastic in state options and it sounds like ex dropped this in your lap after building up completely unreasonable expectations.  And if you have to say next year you can reset when you are actually in control and in the know of the whole process, that really is ok.  I really feel for you!  So much to take on all at once!  ❤️  There is a reason the average family income at most of these private schools is so high.  

If you are looking at Canadian schools, just be careful because some of them are not very US homeschool friendly so be sure to check that out.  But we do know families who have been very happy with both the education quality and price tag of Canadian schools.  

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I think the ex filled out the FAFSA with prior-prior tax data, as is correct, and since their divorce is only just being finalized, it would be joint tax info, yes?

I think you may need to submit some paperwork to indicate the change in financials/households due to the recent divorce. It will change a lot of the FAFSA to use more current info but there is no automatic way to do that. 

I feel for you, Halcyon. I'd be so tempted to just throw my hands up & claim I'm done already for this year. But, I remember your posts & can see where you feel like you have to rescue the son from the sins of the father (including his elitist influence).

My advice echoes others: prioritize applications because they are likely not all going to get done.

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2 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

I think the ex filled out the FAFSA with prior-prior tax data, as is correct, and since their divorce is only just being finalized, it would be joint tax info, yes?

I think you may need to submit some paperwork to indicate the change in financials/households due to the recent divorce. It will change a lot of the FAFSA to use more current info but there is no automatic way to do that. 

I feel for you, Halcyon. I'd be so tempted to just throw my hands up & claim I'm done already for this year. But, I remember your posts & can see where you feel like you have to rescue the son from the sins of the father (including his elitist influence).

My advice echoes others: prioritize applications because they are likely not all going to get done.

I'm not sure that is correct or incorrect. I seem to recall something about having to separate out and manually fill in and not being able to use the retrieval tool. Since  I'm not divorced and we dont take out loans, I am posting vague memories, definitely not knowledge. But I think they don't submit their joint return.

Can someone who knows clarify? I may very well be 100% wrong!! I am not sure what it is I am recalling.

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All the articles state that the parent that the child spent the most time with during the last 12 months needs to fill out the FAFSA.

https://studentaid.gov/apply-for-aid/fafsa/filling-out#parent-info

It looks like the instructions include how to subtract from the tax info for separations/divorces.

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I thought of two more possibilities (around the same price as the first group I posted):

1. University of Prince Edward Island (just shy of 5000 students) in Charlottetown, PEI (population 35,000). There is an airport, but you would have to connect from a larger centre (probably Halifax). There is bowling!  https://www.upei.ca/future-students I'm not sure how homeschool-friendly they are, but he could look into it, if the city is big enough for him. Charlottetown is cute, and one can easily walk downtown from the campus.

2. St Thomas University (about 2000 students) in Fredericton, NB (population about 60,000). There is an airport, but again, you'd be connecting from Halifax or Toronto, most likely. https://www.stu.ca/ STU students are welcome to take courses at the adjacent University of New Brunswick (about 8000 students at the Fredericton campus, which is the oldest English-language university in Canada; there's a second campus in Saint John). Fredericton is very tidy, walkable, and rather genteel, I think; it's also home to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, which is excellent and might be of interest to him. (And there are two bowling alleys in town.)

UNB (the Fredericton campus) itself might be worth some thought, though it's larger than he wants. There's a school-within-a-school there called the Renaissance College ( https://www.unb.ca/fredericton/renaissance/ ) that looks interesting--it's a select small cohort that stays together throughout their degree, and there are two required internships (one domestic and one international). Here's a nice video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UypxLSpJiNA

(I'm not trying to talk you into Canada, I promise! Just tossing out suggestions in case they might be useful, and maybe ease your stress somewhat.)

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On 1/1/2020 at 9:57 PM, dmmetler said:

Close access only if you have a car. They do have ZipCar, though.  It is about a 45 minute drive to Chattanooga and about the same to Murfreesboro, so about an hour 15 min to Nashville.  It fell off DD's list because of the fact that she would be stranded, since at 16 you can't rent a ZipCar, and it's a good mile down the mountain to even get to anything off campus like a grocery store or pizza hut. 

It is beautiful, and would be one place DD could do fieldwork with a short walk-and almost all undergrads do some form of research, practicum, internship, etc. 

 

FWIW, Bard heavily recruits and accepts kids for early college with stats lower than your DS, and only 2-3 years of high school. 

Re Bard, yes they’ve been an early player in the early college scene but I think the above is true only for their Simon’s Rock campus not necessarily the main one. 

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